Eagles triumph in Play4Kay game

Sarah Loesch

The women’s basketball team played their annual Play4Kay game Thursday where and beat the University of Indianapolis 68-49.

The Play4Kay game is special to the team and they all love being a part of it. Senior forward Mary O’Keefe said the cause hits close to home for them.

Play4Kay is used to raise awareness for the fight against breast cancer. It comes from a partnership of the Kay Yow Cancer fund and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association; the fund has contributed over $3.9 million in support of women’s cancer research.

“Within our team, there are a lot of reasons why we do this. We’re glad to be a part of it,” she said.

Senior guard Taylor Stevenson, who scored six points for the Eagles, said it is a really great cause that they love showing support for.

“We really feel like we are playing for something, so we play hard,” she said.

Head Coach Rick Stein said that for the team, it’s a no brainer to be involved with the cause.

“I think the last stat I heard was that one in eight young women will end up with breast cancer,” Stein said. “When you coach 13 young women and you have a couple more assistant coaches, the odds aren’t good. It’s a scary thing.”

The team took the court in their pink uniforms ready to play, but struggled early in the first half to find opportunities for shots. They shot 31 percent from field goal range and were 1-7 from the three-point line.

The Eagles only got to the line twice, but they did not allow the Greyhounds any free throws.

Stevenson said getting to the free throw line is really important to the game.

“It’s a momentum changer,” she said. “When we get to the line we need to make them because those are kind of free shots.”

The team kept up its free throw performance and ended the game 15-22.

Senior forward Anna Hackert was the key, providing 11 of those free throws. She also was the leading scorer with 35 points and 16 rebounds.

Twenty-five of her points were scored during the second half when the offense for the team really came alive.

“I thought we did a much better job of executing our offense in the second half. Getting the ball to Mary and Anna down low really opened everything up,” Stein said.

O’keefe was the second leading scorer with 12 points and six rebounds.

The rebounding was also a factor for the Eagles and allowed the team many second chance opportunities. They were able to score 13 points off second chance shots compared to UIndy’s three points.

Stevenson said rebounding is a big part of the team’s game and the goal every game is to out-rebound the opponent.

“I think every win we have had we’ve out rebounded our opponent. Second chance points were big for us,” Stein said.

The Eagles will host its last home game of the season Saturday, which will be the teams senior night.

The tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m., and the seniors will be honored at the end of the game.